Ängöl Brewery brews more traceable and sustainable beer with blockchain
Earlier this year, Ängöl Brewery, a popular Swedish microbrewer, released Helt Spårat, traced by IBM Food Trust and Sweden’s first blockchain-traceable beer. Helt Spårat’s story is one of sustainability; the beer was made using only locally and sustainably produced ingredients. The farm where the grain was grown runs on solar power and fuels its tractors with renewable diesel gasoline. Unlike most Swedish beers, Helt Spårat’s hops are actually grown in Sweden, not imported, which limits transportation-related emissions. Additionally, the water used in the brewing process comes from small lakes in the nearby Småland highlands, while residual products are used as feed for a local farm’s dairy cows that produce milk for cheeses served at Ängöl’s beer tastings.
Helt Spårat is traced using IBM Food Trust, a blockchain-based solution that enables a safer, smarter and more sustainable food ecosystem by increasing transparency across supply chains. Blockchain technology provides new levels of trust and transparency as well as the assurance that products stay true to their claims of sustainability. As the beer is made, users record data about the ingredients on an unchangeable digital ledger that’s shared among participants, who can collaborate more effectively, and with end consumers, who are now connected to the entire lifecycle of a beer.
The blockchain-traced story of Helt Spårat spans roughly two years and takes consumers on a tour of Sweden in the form of interactions throughout the supply chain. Consumers have a complete view of production, which began on 22 April 2019, when farmer Wilhelm Aschan sowed the grain at his farm Ullälva, all the way through to when the beer was bottled on 13 March 2021 at the brewery, a three-hour drive away.
In addition to the farms’ various sustainability initiatives, consumers can also view key milestones, like when the hops were harvested at Korngården AB, Sweden’s only organic commercial hop farm, in September of 2020. They also can see how, as the grain moved from the farm to the brewery, transactions were managed through Skira, a digital trading place for grain that helps farmers get larger profit margins from sales.
By showing how the beer was made and where the ingredients came from, this information helps bridge the gap consumers often notice when brands make claims of sustainability.